DRIES TALKS – Hannelore Knuts
How would you describe ‘FREEDOM’ and what does it mean to you?
Freedom is radical self-love. To accept all our “flaws” as an opportunity to grow. To embrace your journey to the fullest and hold space for those around you on theirs.
What does freedom mean to you when it comes to art?
FREEDOM IN ART is creating from the heart and then experienced through the heart.
Blurred gender roles, in every area and artform, are becoming more and more accepted. Would you support this evolution?
As a model I was often cast as the androgynous type and I felt quite comfortable in that role. It gave me the room to embrace my feminine side without falling to pray of the patriarch we are conditioned by. So yes, I do support this evolution. We all carry the divine feminine and masculine in us. It goes beyond gender.
You lived in New York for many years.What is it like to be back in Antwerp, and what do you like about the city?
You can’t compare apples and oranges. Antwerp is like a village which has its good and bad sides. New York is a metropole, even-though life is though it felt easy for me.
Our unique campaign images together celebrate freedom, the power of women, identity, lust. One of our customers raved of about seeing a woman in control, enjoying the attention of and the attraction to a man. Would you describe yourself as a ‘woman in control’?
I’m not such a fan of CONTROL. It’s the opposite of freedom to me. Life is a dance. A tango or a rumba, depending on the mood.
As a model, is it difficult to get past the more superficial aspects of fashion? How would you describe your experiences in the fashion world?
I’ve been fortunate to spend my career with very talented people who see fashion as their medium to express their creativity. It’s less superficial as our capitalist culture wants us to believe. Having said this, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed. But that’s a whole conversation in and of itself.
Did you ever experience self-doubt? And after many years of experience and an icon in the industry, did that change?
Self-doubt is no stranger to me. It has ruled my life for a big part. Especially because our culture sees perfection as a virtue. I’m glad to say that I’ve learned to see that I’m perfectly imperfect, just like life is. My self-doubt isn’t a flaw, it’s a gentle reminder to be kind to myself and see what’s out there to learn and grow.
Would you define yourself as a Muse?
I have always seen myself as the canvas. I am the medium to solidify the ideas that the people I’m working with have. But I don’t want to see it that passive either. I’m not just a muse. I also bring something to the table, I spark the engine.